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The Florida Statutes

The 2019 Florida Statutes

Title XXXII
REGULATION OF PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS
Chapter 456
HEALTH PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS: GENERAL PROVISIONS
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F.S. 456.47
456.47 Use of telehealth to provide services.
(1) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Telehealth” means the use of synchronous or asynchronous telecommunications technology by a telehealth provider to provide health care services, including, but not limited to, assessment, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, and monitoring of a patient; transfer of medical data; patient and professional health-related education; public health services; and health administration. The term does not include audio-only telephone calls, e-mail messages, or facsimile transmissions.
(b) “Telehealth provider” means any individual who provides health care and related services using telehealth and who is licensed or certified under s. 393.17; part III of chapter 401; chapter 457; chapter 458; chapter 459; chapter 460; chapter 461; chapter 463; chapter 464; chapter 465; chapter 466; chapter 467; part I, part III, part IV, part V, part X, part XIII, or part XIV of chapter 468; chapter 478; chapter 480; part II or part III of chapter 483; chapter 484; chapter 486; chapter 490; or chapter 491; who is licensed under a multistate health care licensure compact of which Florida is a member state; or who is registered under and complies with subsection (4).
(2) PRACTICE STANDARDS.
(a) A telehealth provider has the duty to practice in a manner consistent with his or her scope of practice and the prevailing professional standard of practice for a health care professional who provides in-person health care services to patients in this state.
(b) A telehealth provider may use telehealth to perform a patient evaluation. If a telehealth provider conducts a patient evaluation sufficient to diagnose and treat the patient, the telehealth provider is not required to research a patient’s medical history or conduct a physical examination of the patient before using telehealth to provide health care services to the patient.
(c) A telehealth provider may not use telehealth to prescribe a controlled substance unless the controlled substance is prescribed for the following:
1. The treatment of a psychiatric disorder;
2. Inpatient treatment at a hospital licensed under chapter 395;
3. The treatment of a patient receiving hospice services as defined in s. 400.601; or
4. The treatment of a resident of a nursing home facility as defined in s. 400.021.
(d) A telehealth provider and a patient may be in separate locations when telehealth is used to provide health care services to a patient.
(e) A nonphysician telehealth provider using telehealth and acting within his or her relevant scope of practice, as established by Florida law or rule, is not in violation of s. 458.327(1)(a) or s. 459.013(1)(a).
(3) RECORDS.A telehealth provider shall document in the patient’s medical record the health care services rendered using telehealth according to the same standard as used for in-person services. Medical records, including video, audio, electronic, or other records generated as a result of providing such services, are confidential pursuant to ss. 395.3025(4) and 456.057.
(4) REGISTRATION OF OUT-OF-STATE TELEHEALTH PROVIDERS.
(a) A health care professional not licensed in this state may provide health care services to a patient located in this state using telehealth if the health care professional registers with the applicable board, or the department if there is no board, and provides health care services within the applicable scope of practice established by Florida law or rule.
(b) The board, or the department if there is no board, shall register a health care professional not licensed in this state as a telehealth provider if the health care professional:
1. Completes an application in the format prescribed by the department;
2. Is licensed with an active, unencumbered license that is issued by another state, the District of Columbia, or a possession or territory of the United States and that is substantially similar to a license issued to a Florida-licensed provider specified in paragraph (1)(b);
3. Has not been the subject of disciplinary action relating to his or her license during the 5-year period immediately prior to the submission of the application;
4. Designates a duly appointed registered agent for service of process in this state on a form prescribed by the department; and
5. Demonstrates to the board, or the department if there is no board, that he or she is in compliance with paragraph (e).

The department shall use the National Practitioner Data Bank to verify the information submitted under this paragraph, as applicable.

(c) The website of a telehealth provider registered under paragraph (b) must prominently display a hyperlink to the department’s website containing information required under paragraph (h).
(d) A health care professional may not register under this subsection if his or her license to provide health care services is subject to a pending disciplinary investigation or action, or has been revoked in any state or jurisdiction. A health care professional registered under this subsection must notify the appropriate board, or the department if there is no board, of restrictions placed on his or her license to practice, or any disciplinary action taken or pending against him or her, in any state or jurisdiction. The notification must be provided within 5 business days after the restriction is placed or disciplinary action is initiated or taken.
(e) A provider registered under this subsection shall maintain professional liability coverage or financial responsibility, that includes coverage or financial responsibility for telehealth services provided to patients not located in the provider’s home state, in an amount equal to or greater than the requirements for a licensed practitioner under s. 456.048, s. 458.320, or s. 459.0085, as applicable.
(f) A health care professional registered under this subsection may not open an office in this state and may not provide in-person health care services to patients located in this state.
(g) A pharmacist registered under this subsection may only use a pharmacy permitted under chapter 465, a nonresident pharmacy registered under s. 465.0156, or a nonresident pharmacy or outsourcing facility holding an active permit pursuant to s. 465.0158 to dispense medicinal drugs to patients located in this state.
(h) The department shall publish on its website a list of all registrants and include, to the extent applicable, each registrant’s:
1. Name.
2. Health care occupation.
3. Completed health care training and education, including completion dates and any certificates or degrees obtained.
4. Out-of-state health care license with the license number.
5. Florida telehealth provider registration number.
6. Specialty.
7. Board certification.
8. Five-year disciplinary history, including sanctions and board actions.
9. Medical malpractice insurance provider and policy limits, including whether the policy covers claims that arise in this state.
10. The name and address of the registered agent designated for service of process in this state.
(i) The board, or the department if there is no board, may take disciplinary action against an out-of-state telehealth provider registered under this subsection if the registrant:
1. Fails to notify the applicable board, or the department if there is no board, of any adverse actions taken against his or her license as required under paragraph (d).
2. Has restrictions placed on or disciplinary action taken against his or her license in any state or jurisdiction.
3. Violates any of the requirements of this section.
4. Commits any act that constitutes grounds for disciplinary action under s. 456.072(1) or the applicable practice act for Florida-licensed providers.

Disciplinary action taken by a board, or the department if there is no board, under this paragraph may include suspension or revocation of the provider’s registration or the issuance of a reprimand or letter of concern. A suspension may be accompanied by a corrective action plan as determined by the board, or the department if there is no board, the completion of which may lead to the suspended registration being reinstated according to rules adopted by the board, or the department if there is no board.

(5) VENUE.For the purposes of this section, any act that constitutes the delivery of health care services is deemed to occur at the place where the patient is located at the time the act is performed or in the patient’s county of residence. Venue for a civil or administrative action initiated by the department, the appropriate board, or a patient who receives telehealth services from an out-of-state telehealth provider may be located in the patient’s county of residence or in Leon County.
(6) EXEMPTIONS.A health care professional who is not licensed to provide health care services in this state but who holds an active license to provide health care services in another state or jurisdiction, and who provides health care services using telehealth to a patient located in this state, is not subject to the registration requirement under this section if the services are provided:
(a) In response to an emergency medical condition as defined in s. 395.002; or
(b) In consultation with a health care professional licensed in this state who has ultimate authority over the diagnosis and care of the patient.
(7) RULEMAKING.The applicable board, or the department if there is no board, may adopt rules to administer this section.
History.s. 1, ch. 2019-137.